English Premier League

Jones Knows Notebook: Back 5/2 Blades to score over 1.5 goals at Man Utd

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder

Sky Sports' betting expert Lewis Jones - aka 'Jones Knows' - is back with his weekly notebook, where he has pinpointed some huge value in Sheffield United's price to score two or more goals at Manchester United on Wednesday...

Blades can show sharp shooting at Man Utd

I'm excited for Manchester United v Sheffield United on Wednesday. I might be the only one.

There are angles aplenty to take advantage of from a betting point of view on Sheffield United's chances of scoring multiple goals.

Manchester United aren't going to treat this fixture like they would an ordinary Premier League game. I can see a scenario where they are completely underprepared and miles below the standards required in the backdrop of a very quiet and expectant Old Trafford crowd.

And that's not even factoring in the likely mental and physical fatigue from that 120 minutes at Wembley. Are the like of Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes really going to be fully wound up and motivated to be at their best? They'll probably assume they'll get through this clash at 60% - that's dangerous.

The Blades can take advantage of United's likely poor focus. Obviously, they're down and out in terms of their Premier League status but I'm hoping that playing at Old Trafford might just keep enough of them interested to put on a performance. There has been certainly more intensity and threat to their play under Chris Wilder.

They've scored at least once in five of their last six matches, scoring nine goals in total. With nothing to lose, I'm certain Wilder will go to Old Trafford and just play with the handbrake off.

And they were very unlucky not to score more than one goal v Burnley in the 4-1 defeat on Saturday. A result that looks horrendous from a result perspective but having covered the game, I was impressed with Sheffield United's attacking play, where they created lots of chances to the extent they won the expected goals battle in that 4-1 defeat, creating 2.43 expected goals to Burnley 2.18. They won 11 corners, had 14 shots from inside the box and 60 touches in the Burnley box.

I've got no faith in Sheffield United in the outright market as they just can't be trusted to keep this Manchester United team of "moments" quiet when they inevitably get on top.

But Wilder's men can certainly make this a goal-heavy game.

And this United defence ship goals for fun. They've kept just three clean sheets in their last 19 Premier League games and have conceded two or more goals in seven of their last 10 matches across all competitions whilst Sheffield United have scored two or more in nine of their last 17 games across all competitions.

That makes the prospect of Sheffield United scoring over 1.5 goals in the match a clear value play at 5/23.50 with the Sportsbook. My probabilities have it closer to 6/4. It's a big edge to exploit.

Back Sheffield United to score over 1.5 goals v Man Utd @ 5/23.50

Bet here

Cucurella foul count likely to spike v Saka

When Marc Cucurella plays against Bukayo Saka, sparks fly.

Saka is Arsenal's go to guy with the ball. The way he constructs attacks with Martin Odegaard is key to the way Arsenal create chances. He sees so much of the ball and this does lead to a very high foul count on the Arsenal winger.

Saka has drawn 22 fouls in last seven starts with left-backs playing up against him always in for a tough afternoon. Toti made three fouls for Wolves against Arsenal, Lucas Digne made two for Aston Villa as did Pervis Estupinan for Brighton. That's just a flavour of what we can usually expect from the opposition full-back against Saka.

Lots of my research and digging into prices now is based around match-ups. My analysis is always drawn to battles in man-for-man situations surrounding foul counts, which are a popular betting medium now when it comes to the props market.

Cucurella committed two fouls against Saka in Arsenal's last meeting with Chelsea, continuing a theme of when the pair have met before.

The Spaniard has now made eight fouls against him in the last three matches where they've faced each other, making three fouls in the Chelsea 1-0 defeat at the Emirates last season and making three again in Brighton's 2-1 win over Arsenal at The Emirates. Cucurella does to try to fight fire with fire and doesn't defend that intelligently. He's a very rash full-back who likes to snap into challenges.

Cucurella is 6/42.50 for two or more fouls on Tuesday and is 5/16.00 to make three or more.

He's also been booked in seven of his 14 Premier League starts this season - so a 50 per cent strike rate, including being carded for a foul in the reverse fixture with Arsenal.

If you add the 6/42.50 for him to make 2+ fouls along with him to be carded at 21/10 using the Bet Builder, you're getting yourself a 4/15.00 poke dripping with potential. That should give you a great run.

Back Cucurella to make +2 fouls & be carded @ 4/15.00

Bet here

Now read our Arsenal v Chelsea betting preview here!

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